San Francisco: A powerful storm sweeping California has prompted flash-flood watches and evacuations in areas stripped bare by devastating wildfires. The storm that began moving in on Friday night is expected to bring up to 4 inches of rain in some areas, winds gusting to 80 mph, 10-foot waves and up to 10 feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada. A flash-flood watch was in place through Saturday morning for the entire San Francisco Bay Area and much of the Central Coast. Evacuations have been ordered or recommended for many areas of Northern and Southern California that were hit by wildfires in recent months. Authorities fear an inch of rain an hour could send fire debris, mud and boulders sluicing down denuded hillsides. The National Weather Service says more rain and snow could arrive with cold weather systems on Sunday and Monday.
Merciless cold: Death toll 29 in Midwest
Meanwhile, at least 29 people were reported dead due to the Polar Vortex that froze the US Midwest region and brought temperatures to record lows. But officials said the weather was finally improving after over a week of extreme cold. In many places, like Chicago, the temperatures climbed just above zero on Friday after the city reeled under intense cold with temperatures dipping to extreme lows like minus 31 degrees Celsius, The New York Times reported.